A Story is a Promise

A Story 
is a Promise

A half hour presentation on my a story is a promise concepts can be viewed at YouTube.

The fourth edition of A Story is a Promise and The Spirit of Storytelling is available in trade paperback for $17.99, which includes media mail shipping in the U.S. No overseas shipping.

Essays on the Craft of Writing


Bill Johnson
A photo of Bill Johnson, author of A Story is a Promise and the Spirit of Storytelling.
My reviews and critiques are meant to help writers fix common story problems and help create stories that engage and satisfy an audience, whether you're trying to write a movie script or write or self-publish a novel.

I have three levels of service for how to write a movie script.

Notes on a 120 page screenplay run 2-3 pages. I offer comments on story structure, some line editing, and my recommendations. Cost, $75; $85 if a script is emailed to me for printing and return mailing in the US. Time line for Notes is a week. Notes are good for someone with experience writing scripts.

A Review of a 120 page screenplay includes 5-7 pages of single-spaced notes. It goes over a story's structure, more line editing on the page, and my recommendations. There's more nitty-gritty about how to write a movie scriopt. Cost, $150. Time line for a review is ten days. This is more for first-time script writers.

A Critique of a 120 page screenplay includes 12-18 pages of notes. It includes a page by page breakdown of what I find in the script, plus a review. Cost, $250. Time line, two weeks.

Notes on the first three chapters of a novel (or first 50 pages), $75. Includes 2-3 pages of feedback, some line editing. The basic problems in most manuscripts are a lack of a clear introduction of a story's promise, defining the main character's dramatic truths, and setting the story moving forward.

A Review of a novel up to 80,000 words is $250. I charge $1 for every 300 words over 80,000. Review runs 6-8 pages. Time line, two weeks.

Novel Critique, $400. Critique runs 12-16 pages. This includes the review and a detailed, chapter by chapter breakdown.

Query and Synopsis Review, $25.

I also review plays and charge according to their length.

I do not review television scripts or poetry, nor do I buy or sell scripts to Hollywood studios.

I encourage those who can't afford a review or a critique to consider taking a community education class offered by many community colleges. Such classes can be an inexpensive way to get feedback on one's writing. There are also online classes.

Learning how to write a movie script or how to write a novel is tough. I've known many writers who spent years in the wilderness trying to learn story structure on their own instead of getting help, or burning through professional contacts with literary agents, editors, and Hollywood people with manuscripts that were not ready to show.

Unfortunately, you get one shot with most of these folks.

For more information about my review services, contact me at bjscript@teleport.com

Author Bill Johnson

A logo of House of Lit.I also review screenplays for House of Lit, a company that offers e-book creation.

   About the Author:
Film Scripts
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Essays on the Craft of Writing